BMW are getting ready to unleash their rival to the Mercedes SLK, and fight the Porsche Boxter on its home turf. The Z4 M Coupe, the new muscle from BMW’s stable will sport no less than four tailpipes to take away the gases from the twin-turbocharged 3.0 litre six-cylinder 343 bhp engine or the 4.0-litre V8 propulsion system.
There will be a factory limited 155 mph version and a 171 mph V Max version available. This will mean it will be able to reach 60mph in less than five teeth-shattering seconds. The power will be provided to the rear wheels and there will be a big benefit from aerodynamics and emissions reduction with a little help from the company’s Efficient Dynamics Programme, which will not only help to cut through the air with less resistance for more speed and fuel economy, but also lower its Co2 emissions.
The new vehicle will also be equipped with a retractable steel top, taking it away from BMW’s more traditional canvas roof and giving another reason for Mercedes SLK dealers to worry about this new kid on the block.
There are some new electric features that include a stop/start system for greater fuel economy in the city. And its looks as if the Z4 will be missing the hand break replaced by an electronic breaking system. There will also be an iDrive computer setup with an LCD panel and controller which amongst other things allows the passenger easy control of the audio system, air-con, sat-nav and phone. The iDrive also replaces the medieval “check engine” light with a large array of plain English diagnostic tools for the driver to monitor.
The vehicle will also take on board the latest BMW stick shift option, the worlds only seven-speed double-clutch transmission that has an amazing eleven electronically controlled choices of program for the driver to select from for a high speed getaway.
On the exterior the bodywork has taken a radically simple direction with very smooth lines running down the sides to the matching side grille air intakes. The front spoiler is mounted on heavy looking brackets to help give it a more muscle car appearance from the front.
Out of sight the platform is the same as is used in the current 3-series models with upgraded suspension and a slightly lower to the ground, road hugging set-up.
The first models will roll off the production line in Regensburg in Germany, it is then expected that production will shift to the US ready for its launch in late 2009.
The photos show the “disguised” test model that looks about as incognito as Madonna at the Vatican wearing big pair of shades.